Dar es Salaam. Ukonga Kings survived a scare before beating Savio 85-80 in an exciting National Basketball League (NBL) match on Sunday night.
Savio put up a spirited fight, but within a minute before the final whistle, they conceded three baskets for Ukonga Kings to level at 69-69, forcing the game into extra time.
After resumption, Ukonga Kings pinned their opponents down, registering one basket after another to the annoyance of Savio fans at the National Indoor Stadium.
Ukonga Kings had Derick Eliujah and Herme Yamengu to thank for the hard-earned victory.
Eliujah and Yamengu scored 25 and 24 points respectively for their team while Khamis Tassir netted 10.
“I am very happy to help my team beat Savio. It was a tough game,” Eliujah said shortly after the match.
Amin Mtambo was a notable player for Savio in the end-to-end game.
He scored 22 points for his team while teammates George Tarimo and Alex Mbwana had 19 and 12 respectively.
Earlier, Rukwa laboured to down hard-fighting Kurasini Heat 78-65 in a thrilling match at the same venue.
The league continues today with four matches on the menu.
Korogwe basketball team takes on ABC and Tanga United face DB Panthers, while Chui take on Tanga United.
The day will also see Vijana or City Bulls – as the Dar es Salaam-based side is popularly known – facing TCDC of Arusha.
Teams competing in this year’s league are ‘City Bulls,’ JKT, Savio, ABC, Ukonga, Kings, Oilers, Chui, Rukwa, Kurasini Heat and Pazi.
Also on the list are DB Panthers, Tanga United, TCDC and Korogwe.
The women’s teams include Don Bosco Lionesses, JKT Stars and UK-Combine.